8th Graders Bully Speaker Ryan On DC Field Trip [VIDEO]
New Jersey 8th grade students were on a traditional end of the year field trip to Washington, DC.
By happenstance, students from South Orange Middle School got the rare opportunity to meet Speaker Paul Ryan. The school’s travel group ran into the speaker outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday. However, during the encounter over half the students refused to participate in meeting, talking, or taking a picture with Mr. Ryan.
About half of the roughly 150 students on the trip refused to have their photo taken with Ryan when he briefly joined them outside the capitol Thursday. Instead, they stood across the street while Ryan posed with their peers.
Although little blowback has come their way in the liberal suburb of South Orange, New Jersey, (librarian and parent) Elissa Malespina said some of the online comments on news stories about the students’ actions have been vitriolic, often focusing on the parents.
She said that while politics are a frequent topic of discussion in their household, criticism that she or other parents “indoctrinated” the kids involved is unfounded.
On social media, the speaker gave no hints that he was miffed by the students who refused to be photographed with him. On Friday he posted a picture of himself on Instagram giving a fist-bump to one of the students in the group that agreed to pose.
A Hidden Agenda?
In today’s hyper-sensitive politically charged environment, politics seems to have lurched its way into all facets of today’s society. Something in which WABC-TV learned:
“It’s not just a picture,” said Matthew Malespina, a student.
Matthew says he couldn’t go through with it.
It didn’t matter that Paul Ryan is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, or that he is third in-line to the presidency.
When he and his classmates from South Orange Middle School had the chance to take a picture with the speaker. Matthew watched from the parking lot with 100 of his fellow students.
“It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country,” Matthew said.
The students were on a field trip to Washington. Matthew found out the night before.
“I’m just not going to do it,” Matthew texted his mother.
“The point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for,'” said Elissa Malespina, Matthew’s mother.
Social Media Was Quick To Hit Back:
Socio-political infighting has opened a massive internal rip throughout the country not seen since the Civil War.
Thus, Lincoln’s words still ring true today: